Dan smiles gracefully, and doesn't break eye contact; they stare each other down. Gossip Girl is impressed: "This just in; we hear there's a cold war brewing between Lonelyboy and a certain blueblood. We never thought we'd say this ourselves..." Serena approaches and asks what's going on; Cece's eyes open slowly like a startled housecat when Dan tells her Cece just talked him into taking her to the ball. "...But our money's on Brooklyn for the win!" Go Dan! That was awesome! He looks her right in the eye and implies that she has leave to totally suck it. Nice!
The Times reporter is wrapping up his preliminary questions Chez Waldorf, and Blair tells him she's dumped the Prince for Nate: "Given our history, it was only right. He is the perfect gentleman, the perfect date." Chuck enters and meets the reporter at this point, giving Blair props for forgiving Nate after he ruined her birthday and slept with her best friend. Blair puts a halt to this by grinding his foot into dust, and then dismisses the reporter. WTF is the question, but Chuck's got other ones: "I should ask you the same question! 'Perfect gentleman'? 'Perfect date'? That broken record was a hit last year. Get with the times. He bores you!" Blair points out, on the other hand, that Chuck just attempted to wreck her Times interview, which is the entire point: he can't be trusted to keep quiet and constantly deny everything. "Nate is a gentleman. He would never cause a scene." Chuck notes also that he isn't exactly a turn-on, but Blair sends him away; Carter Baizen left his jacket at the tea party, and she doesn't want anybody to see Chuck at her house: "There's been enough scenes for today." Never, ever true!
Cece takes her show on the road, hot-footing it through time and space to the gallery in Williamsburg and coming out of the shadows like a scary mean ghost. "So I see it's true what they say, about the apple and the tree." Rufus is like, "I would say I'm happy to see you, but I never eff with an effer." Cece tells Rufus that Dan has changed his tune and will be taking Serena to the ball, and she points out that this is a bad idea. And honestly, she's right. If you're going to do it wrong, why even do it, you know? That's like Vanessa stomping her rude ass through the Masquerade Ball: why even go if you're not going to play along? "There's no point in being presented if it's improperly, and your Daniel is not a proper companion for a girl like Serena. He's a...temporary distraction. I need her to focus on her future." Cece offers to buy every single painting in the entire gallery if Rufus will keep Dan out of the picture for the ball. "Before you answer, remember: a grown man with children is in a very different position than a young man. The money could be useful now. Not to mention how much this sale would mean to your wife's career as an artist..." Take it! Take the money! This is nothing! He's like, "I am a Humphrey Man and I have integrity! Money is stupid! My son cannot be bought!" Cece's like, "That's the difference between you people and us: we can be. My daughter dropped you in about a minute, once I brought cheddar into it." Nice.